8 Reasons Roof System Core Cuts are Necessary

October 20, 2015

If you’ve ever been told that you need a core cut, you may have been stumped about why. Cutting into your roof is just the kind of thing you’ve been trying to avoid after all, so a core cut may seem crazy. It’s not, though.

A core cut, by definition, is when the layers are cut through and removed to examine a sample of the existing roof system. The objective (i.e. reason for the core cuts) will determine the quantity and their locations.

A core cut is necessary to:

  1. Examine the roofing system for moisture and determine how much is present.
  2. Determine the types and characteristics of the existing roofing materials.
  3. Complete a thorough roofing survey.
  4. Assess the structural integrity of the roof deck. Metal corrodes. Concrete spalls. It’s important to determine if deck replacement or preparation is needed.
  5. Determine the type of roofing project your contractor will execute. A core cut will reveal whether a recover is possible (is there already two roof systems in place?) or if partial tear-off or a total reroof is necessary.
  6. Calculate the cost of the project (e.g. dumpster feeds, labor hours required to tear off the roof, etc.).
  7. Discover the slope of the insulation and maximum and minimum thicknesses. This is required for the contractor to plan for the correct size of screws used in a mechanically fastened system.
  8. Ensure that the new roofing project will be done according to code (i.e. weight, slope, fire rating, uplift, etc.).

Most often, core cuts are taken when the building owner or facility manager wants to have work performed on the roof. More information is needed by the roofing contractor before the project can be determined and scope of work planned. This can help develop an accurate estimate and prevent unexpected expenditures due to unforeseen conditions as the project progresses.


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